Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Salute Prisca and Aquila.—These were two of St. Paul’s earliest friends after he had begun his great work for his Master. Originally of Pontus, they had taken up their abode at Rome, where Aquila exercised his trade of a tent-maker.
Driven out of Rome by the decree of Claudius, which banished the Jews from the capital, they came to Corinth, where St. Paul became acquainted with them. But they were evidently Christians when St. Paul first met them, about A.D. 51-2. We hear of them in company with St. Paul at Corinth, about A.D. 52-3 (Acts 18:2); at Ephesus, about A.D. 55 (1Corinthians 16:19); and in the year A.D. 58 St. Paul sends greetings to them at Rome (Romans 16:3).
They were, evidently, among the many active and zealous teachers of the first days of the faith. That they possessed great ability as well as zeal is evident from the fact that it was from them that the eloquent and trained Alexandrian master, Apollos, learnt to be a Christian (Acts 18:26). In this place, and in several other passages, Prisca (or Priscilla) is named before her husband, Aquila. This would seem to hint that in this case the woman was the principal worker of the two in the cause of Christ. She, in fact, was one of that band of devoted holy women which the preaching of Christ and His disciples had called into existence: a representative of the great class of noble female workers which had no existence before Christ told the world what was the true position of women—until the same divine Master taught them that they, too, as well as men, had a work to work for Him here.
And the household of Onesiphorus.—St. Paul may have been aware that Onesiphorus was absent then from Ephesus; but this peculiar greeting, taken together with the words of 2Timothy 1:16, leads us irresistibly to the conclusion that this friend of St. Paul’s was dead when the Epistle was written. (See Notes on 2Timothy 1:16.)2 Timothy 4:19-22. Salute Prisca — This word is a contraction of the name Priscilla; or, as Estius supposes, Priscilla may be the diminutive of Prisca. Erastus abode at Corinth — When I came from thence, being chamberlain of the city, Romans 16:23. He is likewise mentioned, Acts 19:22, as one who administered to Paul. But Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick — It has been very justly argued from this text, that a power of working miracles did not always reside in the apostles; and indeed if it had, one can hardly imagine that any good and useful man would have been sick and died under their notice; which would have been quite inconsistent with the scheme of Providence. Timothy’s frequent infirmities afford a further argument to the same purpose. Do thy diligence to come before winter — Sailing being then dangerous. Some, comparing Hebrews 13:23 with this text, have concluded that Timothy did come, and was seized at Rome, and confined longer than Paul himself. But it seems much more probable that the epistle to the Hebrews was written during Paul’s first imprisonment, and consequently several years before this. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens — Though these persons, like the other Roman brethren, did not appear with the apostle at his first answer, they did not flee from the city, nor desert him altogether; but visited him in his prison, and desired him to send their salutation to Timothy. Linus is said, by some of the ancients, to have been the first bishop of Rome, after the apostles Paul and Peter. But Theodoret speaks of this only as a tradition. Claudia is said to have been a British lady, whom Paul was the instrument of converting, and that she first carried the gospel into Britain. But of this there is no evidence. According to tradition, the Apostle Peter was now in Rome, and suffered martyrdom at the same time with St. Paul. But seeing Paul says, 2 Timothy 4:11, Only Luke is with me, and 2 Timothy 4:16, At my first answer no one appeared with me; also, seeing Peter’s salutation was not sent to Timothy, his being in Rome at the time this letter was written may justly be doubted. If he suffered martyrdom along with Paul, as the ancients affirm, he must have come to Rome after Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy. Grace be with you — This being a benediction distinct from the one bestowed on Timothy in the preceding clause, it must have been designed for such of the brethren where Timothy was, as maintained the truth of the gospel in purity. Romans 16:3. They were at Rome when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, but afterward went into Asia Minor, which was the native place of Aquila Acts 18:2, and where they probably died.
And the household of Onesiphorus; - see the notes on 2 Timothy 1:16.
household of Onesiphorus—If he were dead at the time, the "household" would not have been called "the household of Onesiphorus." He was probably absent (see on 2Ti 1:16).Salute Prisca and Aquila; by this Prisca and Aquila it is mor than probable he means that Priscilla and Aquila mentioned 1 Corinthians 16:19.
And the household of Onesiphorus; it cannot be concluded from hence that Onesiphorus was now dead, but probably he was. It is the same man mentioned 2 Timothy 1:16. Acts 18:2.
And the household of Onesiphorus: who also lived at Ephesus, and whose kindness to the apostle, when he was at Rome, is before mentioned, 2 Timothy 1:16.Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Timothy 4:19. Paul sends greetings to Prisca and Aquila.
Paul had become acquainted with them in Corinth (Acts 18:2), from which they accompanied him to Syria (2 Timothy 4:18). When Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans they were in Rome (Romans 16:13), but they were in Corinth at the time of his writing the First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:19).
καὶ τὸν Ὀνησιφόρου οἶκον, see on 2 Timothy 1:16.2 Timothy 4:19-22. Final salutations.19. Salute Prisca and Aquila] Prisca, or Priscilla, and her husband Aquila of Pontus had been driven from Rome with the Jews by the edict of the Emperor Claudius (Acts 18:2); they were staying at Corinth with St Paul ‘because they were of the same trade’ (acts 18:3); they accompanied him 18 months later to Ephesus (acts 18:18) where they ‘further instructed Apollos’ (acts 18:24); were still there when St Paul wrote his first letter to Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:19); afterwards were again at Rome ‘cessante edicti saevitia,’ perhaps on business; their house became a place of assembly for the Christians, and they endangered their lives for St Paul (Romans 16:3). Now they seem settled at Ephesus. Dr Howson quotes Priscilla as the example of what the married woman may do for the general service of the Church, in conjunction with home duties, as Phœbe is the type of the unmarried servant of the Church or deaconess; and cites Archdeacon Evans as to her usefulness to Timothy at Ephesus. ‘In his dealings with the female part of his flock which in that time and country required peculiar delicacy and discretion, the counsel of the experienced Priscilla would be invaluable. Where for instance could he obtain more prudent and faithful advice than hers in the selection of widows to be placed upon the eleemosynary list of the church and of deaconesses for the ministry?’ Dict. Bib. Priscilla.
the household of Onesiphorus] See 2 Timothy 1:16-18 and notes.
19–22. Last words of salutation, entreaty, benediction
He takes up the thought of 2 Timothy 4:9-12, weaving in with it the new thought of his last greetings.Verse 19. - House for household, A.V. Prisca and Aquila. Prisca is elsewhere always called Priscilla (Acts 18:2, 18, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19). A similar variation of names is seen in Drusa and Drusilla, Livia and Livella, etc. She is named before her husband, as here in Acts 18:18; Romans 16:3. The mention of them here is in favour of Timothy being at Ephesus at this time, as Ephesus is one of the places where they were wont to sojourn (Acts 18:19, 26). The house (as in A.V. ch. 1:16) of Onesiphorus (see ch. 1:16, 18, note). This repetition of the "house of Onesiphorus" is almost conclusive as to the recent death of Onesiphorus himself.
Very often in Paul. The singular only here and Titus 3:15.
Prisca and Aquila
Profit-bringer. Comp. 2 Timothy 1:16. One of the punning names so common among slaves. Comp. Chresimus, Chrestus, Onesimus, Symphorus, all of which signify useful or helpful.
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